Cover photo for George "Pete" William Peterson's Obituary
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1945 George "Pete" 2014

George "Pete" William Peterson

June 17, 1945 — November 1, 2014

George “Pete” William Peterson was born 17 June 1945 the fourth son of Jacob and Florence (Kolar) Peterson. He graduated from Phillips High School in 1963, holding two track records.
Living across from the high school he had lots pf practice running, he waited till the last bell and then ran to class. One record was broke just before the times were converted to meters instead of yards. He still holds one, which is posted in the school records.
During the Vietnam era he joined the Air Force that took him to many overseas places. He was an Aircraft Control Warning systems specialist. He met a man named Vernon J. (Smitty) Smith in the Philippines and they became friends. When returning to the States he was stationed in places like Nevada, Florida, Illinois, Texas, and Mississippi. While training to be and Air Traffic Controller in Mississippi he met his wife Joyce. He also reunited with Vernon J.
He was stationed in Germany where again Vernon and his family showed up and it was like old home week. After Germany the family went to Michigan for four years. When leaving there for Oklahoma he found out the good old Vernon J. was also at Tinker Air Force Base. The old military saying ”never say good-by, until our next base” rang so true. Tech Sergeant Peterson also was called on to work in New York during the Air Traffic Controller strike in 1981 where spent a year away from his family. George spent 22 years 6 months and some odd days in the Air Force then retired. He went to work for the United States Customs Service as Detection System Specialist and started flying AWACS. Then got sent to California and worked as a ground Specialist for a year and a half before going to Corpus Christi, Texas. In Texas he got to fly again this time on P-3’s. As a Customs National Aviation Control Detection System Specialist he was responsible for contributing to a 16,000-pound seizure on August 4, 1994. His experience flying on the E-3 AWACS aircraft helped him to identify a suspicious large commercial jet airliner, Caravel, associated with this aircraft landing near Sombrerete, Mexico, Ultimately 8 tons of cocaine, three trucks and an undisclosed amount of hand grenades were seized. This is the largest single event, bringing Customs National total to 80,000 pounds of cocaine. George spent 15 years with Customs before getting a medical retirement. During his Military and Civil Service carrier flying with AWACS and P-3 he traveled to many places in the US, South and Central America.
George was a 10-year survivor of a right lung transplant in 2004. In 2005 a year after the transplant, along with his wife and cousin Beverly he got to travel to Norway to see the home where his grandfather was born. The home is still in the family. He met a cousin on his dad’s side and many family from his grandmother’s side.
He is preceded in death by his parents; brothers Richard and Lawrence. He is survived by his wife, Joyce, of 44 years, son Eric and wife Linda, Granddaughter Kaitlin, Daughter Casie and her three children, granddaughters Brittany (Sean), Mercedes, and grandson Trentin; brother James and wife Judy alnong with many nieces, nephews, cousins, and many many close family friends.
Memorial services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, July 15, at Saint Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church in Phillips with Deacon James Celba officiating.
Military honors will be conducted by the Frank and Michael Baran VFW Post No. 5778 and the Lane Kreiling American Legion Post No. 122. Friends may call at the church from 10:00 A.M. until time of services on Wednesday.
Online condolences may be expressed at
The Heindl Funeral Home in Phillips is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Starts at 11:00am

Saint Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church

655 South Lake Avenue, Phillips, WI 54555

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